On 20 November 2019, Dean Baquet, Executive Editor of The New York Times since 2014, spent 60 minutes answering questions from students and members of the audience in a full lecture hall at Sciences Po. This event was organised by PSIA, in collaboration with the Journalism School; the two schools offer a joint Master's in Journalism and International Affairs. In January 2020, some New York Times' European-based correspondants will moderate PSIA's Youth and Leaders Summit.
From “how does one cover Trump?” to the protection of sources to the mistakes The New York Times made in the 2016 elections, questions flowed on the greatest challenges an independent news organisation faces in today’s post-truth era of mistrust and uncertainty. “Newspapers have always been mistake prone in the past. But today, we have only minutes to release a story.” Dean Baquet openly discussed with the audience how the news company chooses what stories will drive the day, what will make the homepage, and how The New York Times covers stories that no other news organisation does, and why.
When asked what Dean Baquet wished he knew when he first started working as a journalist, he responded that his first years as a reporter covering trials and doing “scut work” were actually the most fun, and in a sense, the highlight of his career.
In closing, Dean Baquet told students that the future of journalism lies in their hands, and it is a most exciting time for we do not know what journalism will look like in twenty years - yet the journalists of tomorrow have the power to shape it.
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